Meet Carolyn

The Lady Lawyer behind Passion Law.

Carolyn Dillinger, Esq.

Founder & CEO | Business & Nonprofit Attorney

Carolyn no bg (1)
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Bar Admissions

California since 2003.

Nevada since 2005.


Western State College of Law: J.D., magna cum laude

Vanguard University: B.A. History and Political Science, magna cum laude


  • Business & Nonprofit Lawyer for 16 years
  • Entrepreneur
  • Law Professor
  • Author on Nonprofit Law
  • Trusted by CPAs, Bankers, Lawyers, and other Professionals

Lives In

Mission Viejo, CA

Carolyn graduated from Vanguard University, magna cum laude, with a B.A. in History/Political Science. She received a full-tuition scholarship from Western State University College of Law, where she served as Articles Editor for the law review, and graduated magna cum laude. While in law school, Carolyn took business courses in which she reviewed and analyzed financial statements, negotiated deals, and mediated between opposing parties. She passed the California bar exam in 2003 and was licensed to practice law at the age of twenty-two. She passed the Nevada bar exam in 2005 and maintains active licenses in California and Nevada.


Carolyn is also an adjunct professor teaching Law Practice Management at Western State College of Law. She has served a three-year term on State Bar of California Section on Law Practice Management and Technology’s executive committee, including one year as editor-in-chief of its signature publication The Bottom Line.


Carolyn is a frequent guest lecturer to bar associations (including the American Bar Association and the Orange County Bar Association), to universities (MBA and undergraduate programs), law schools (including Western State, Chapman, and Western New England College of Law) and has videotaped a presentation on the Of Counsel relationship for Lawyers Mutual Insurance of California.


Before starting her law practice, Carolyn served as a business banker at Wells Fargo, N.A. She added real world experience to her academic training by reviewing financial statements, preparing loan documentation, and working with a portfolio of small to medium sized businesses. As a business banker, Carolyn toured clients’ facilities, sat across from business owners of various ages, and learned the pain points of being in business. She began to build a network of strategic referral partners to add value to her banking customers and to assist with the acquisition of new clients. As an attorney for over sixteen years, Carolyn has continued her commitment to add to and refine her network of professionals, so that Passion Law can be a resource to and add value to its clients.


Carolyn is passionate about serving her entrepreneur and non-profit clients. Because of Carolyn’s love of collaboration, her clients become part of her network, where she can then introduce her clients to advisors, CPAs, bankers, insurance brokers, manufacturers, logistics companies, and even distribution channels.


In addition to providing high quality business law services at reasonable prices, Passion Law’s goal is to inspire, empower, and support its clients to achieve their business and personal goals. Carolyn has an intuitive sense about what motivates people and what they are able to accomplish. While meeting with Carolyn, clients often begin to dream bigger, see strategies, and consider target markets and distribution channels that they had not seen before. Her ability to dream with the client, and even dream past the client, inspires the client with confidence.


This inspiration, along with Carolyn’s “go get ‘em intensity” and practical focus on solid, concrete action steps, help to anchor the entrepreneurs and non-profit founders and keep them focused on the tasks at hand . . . tasks which, when completed, will help to make their dreams become reality.


Carolyn’s passion for helping others was instilled in her from a young age. As a child, her father left a lucrative career in marketing and tax planning to become a pastor and start a homeless shelter and rehabilitation center for men getting off drugs and alcohol. Growing up Carolyn felt that she knew most of the homeless people in Corona, California by their first names and they knew her too. They were friends. Although she had friends from middle class or affluent backgrounds her experience gave her a perspective to see everyone, no matter their background, as people, worthy to be cared for as such. It is this glimpse into the formative years of Carolyn’s life that sheds some light on the depth and genuineness of her passion to care for others and to help people on their journey.


Carolyn is married to Ken Dillinger, her husband of twenty years, and they have three children. Carolyn enjoys exercising, watching movies, painting, and being outside in the sun and enjoying the fresh air.

Carolyn is passionate about serving entrepreneurs, businesses, and non-profit organizations.

Let's get working!